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SEN-12-18 A Bill for Flagship University Debate

BILL#: SEN-12-18

TITLE: A Bill for Flagship University Debate

SPONSOR: Robert Tank, East Area Senator (

Grant Peterson, College of Business Senator (

Hayes, Arts and Sciences Senator (

DATE: 23 August 2017

Whereas, Belmont University recently hosted the first TN gubernatorial forum of the election cycle, and

Whereas, the University of Tennessee-Knoxville is the state’s flagship University, and

Whereas, voter turnout on campus has been historically low, and

Whereas, in the 2014 gubernatorial election, voter participation on campus was a mere 16% [1], and

Whereas, the 2014 registration rate on campus was only 64.4% [1], and

Whereas, hosting a gubernatorial debate/forum on campus would promote voter participation and registration on campus and throughout the community/state as a whole, and

Whereas, Millennials make up the America’s largest eligible voting bloc, but one of the smallest in participation, and

Whereas, with active participation, Tennessee’s youth has the ability to swing elections, as well as determine the topics and talking points of those running for office, and

Whereas, the Student Government Association was established, in part, to, “organize and mobilize student involvement in seeking solutions to the serious problems facing the community, the nation, and humankind.”

Be it hereby resolved, the University of Tennessee 2017-2018 Undergraduate Student Senate requests that the Government Affairs Committee begin the processes, in conjunction with administration, required to host a gubernatorial debate or forum.

[1] National Study of Learning, Voting, Engagement. (2015, March). University of Tennessee

Study of Learning, Voting, and Engagement (NSLVE) Student Voting Rates for OPEID # 003510.00. Retrieved May 08, 2017, from